American Encore


American Encore (formerly Center to Protect Patient Rights)

Background

American Encore is a non-profit founded and managed by GOP strategist and Koch ally Sean Noble. According to its website, American Encore aims to “defend freedom, promote free markets, work to expand economic opportunity and make the case for the American ideals of liberty and democracy, both at home and abroad.” [1]

American Encore was formerly known as the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR), originally set up in 2009 by Noble in conjunction with Randy Kendrick, an Arizona-based Republican activist and donor, with the aim of opposing then President Obama's Affordable Care Act. [2], [3]

The CPPR has played a major role in the political network established by the Koch brothers, distributing funds to other Koch-backed groups which lobby against action on climate change and promote climate science denial across the US. [3]

In 2012 alone, the Center to Protect Patient Rights handed out almost $137 million, including to groups supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to a ProPublica report. Tax returns revealed that the Koch-funded CPPR had paid consulting firms run by Sean Noble almost $24 million for consulting and other services. [3]

The same year, the CPPR funded TV ads defending Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker during his recall election, through a group called the Coalition for American Values, apparently set up solely for this purpose. [4]

In 2016, three groups funded by the CPPR were fined by the Federal Elections Commission for failing to disclose their sources of funding earmarked for federal political adverts. The CPPR had donated a total of more than $25 million to the Iowa-based American Future Fund, Virginia-based 60 Plus Association (founded by Noble), and Americans for Job Security in 2010. The F.E.C. found that Noble had closely directed the spending of the grants, violating federal rules requiring organizations to identity the source of any money earmarked for a political expenditure. [5], [6]

In 2013, the CPPR was ordered to pay a $500,000 fine to authorities in California, along with another Arizona-based group, Americans for Responsible Leadership (ARL), through which it had secretly funnelled $11 million to fight a tax increase and support a proposal to restrict unions’ political power. According to a Washington Post report, Noble worked with Tony Russo, a California-based Republican strategist, and the “two agreed to a money swap: Russo sent money to an Arizona group that Noble ran, in the hopes that Noble would get other organizations to send similar amounts back into California, masking the original donors.” [7], [8]

Also in 2013, Arizona’s biggest electric utility, Arizona Public Service Company (APS), funded an ad campaign to rally support for increasing costs on solar customers, later admitting that it had sent money through Sean Noble’s consulting firm DC London to the 60 Plus Association and Prosper, a free-market group founded by Kirk Adams, former Chief of Staff to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. [9]

The Center to Protect Patient Rights has previously handed out grants of over $1 million to Concerned Women for America, Free Enterprise America, American Commitment, and the Coalition to Protect Patient Rights, as well as funding Americans for Responsible Leadership. [10]

Noble is a founder and board member of American Commitment, a group which joined a coalition of free market lobby groups in 2018 to pressure Congress to halt any expansion of the electric vehicle tax credit, or scrap it entirely, as reported by DeSmog. [11]

In 2013, Huffington Post reported that the CPPR had been working with an affiliated Delaware-based limited liability company, Corner Table, which does not have to reveal its contributors at all, according to tax documents filed by Freedom Partners, a free market group described by Politico as the “Koch brothers' secret bank.” [12], [13]

Coalition to Protect Patient Rights

The similarly-named Coalition to Protect Patient Rights has received over $4 million from the Center to Protect Patient Rights (see funding section below). OpenSecrets reported in 2012 the ties between the two groups may run deeper: [21]

CPPR’s name is almost exactly the same as that of another group, the Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights, a group that organized lobbying efforts against health care overhaul proposals being debated in Congress in 2009. And CPPR gave the Coalition $205,000 in 2010. Further, the records for both groups were listed as being stored at the same Glendale, Ariz., address by a woman who describes herself as an employee of DCI Group, a lobbying firm practiced in manufacturing 'grassroots' campaigns for the tobacco industry and others that has handled public relations for the Coalition.

“But the Coalition’s spokesman, physician and lawyer, Donald Palmisano, told OpenSecrets Blog he’d never heard of the other group, as did a publicist with DCI Group.” [21]

Star Eiting, former Director of Coalition Accounting at DCI Group, is listed on the Center to Protect Patient Rights' 2010 990 tax form as possessing the books and records of the organization, as well as the 2010 990 for the Coalition to Protect Patients Rights. [22]

ThinkProgress reported the Coalition to Protect Patient Rights was being managed by the public relations and lobbying firm DCI Group. According to an archived version of its now-defunct website, the Coalition to Protect Patients' Rights (CPPR) “is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization made up of more than 10,000 doctors, healthcare professionals, patients and engaged citizens that believe medical decisions should be left between patients and doctors.” [23], [24]

Mother Jones reported: “DCI’s managing partners have deep experience in the political dark arts. Tom Synhorst, for instance, is a former associate of Ralph Reed (as well as a former aide to GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa). Synhorst and fellow founding partners Doug Goodyear and Tim Hyde spent years working for or with the tobacco conglomerate RJR Nabisco, where they supported 'smokers’ rights' groups.” [25]

View related 990 forms for Coalition to Protect Patient Rights (EIN 27-0224057) below:

Stance on Climate Change

December 8, 2015

During the negotiations which led to the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change, American Encore tweeted:

@ceidotorg’s Myron Ebell and Chris Horner Branded as Climate Criminals for Threatening Bogus Consensus.” [14]

March 26, 2015

American Encore tweeted:

“Climate alarmists have tried so hard to get you to care about climate change. They've mostly failed” [15]

August 31, 2014

American Encore founder and president Sean Noble tweeted:

So much for climate science being 'settled.' Al Gore eating a healthy serving of crow today.” [16]

Funding

As 501(c)(4) nonprofits, American Encore and its predecesor, the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR), are not required to disclose their donors. However, based on information compiled by the Conservative Transparency Project, they received over $167 million from organizations between 2011 and 2013, the majority coming from Freedom Partners, described by Politico as “the Koch brothers' secret bank.” [13]

View attached spreadsheet for additional information on American Encore & CPPR funding by year.

American Encore & CPPR as Donors

Year
Donor & Recipient 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2016 Grand Total
American Encore $3,855,150 $100,000 $3,955,150
60 Plus Association $1,845,000 $1,845,000
Legacy Foundation Action Fund $880,000 $880,000
Arizona Free Enterprise Club $450,000 $450,000
Veterans for a Strong America $275,000 $275,000
Prosper Inc $220,150 $220,150
American Commitment $100,000 $100,000
Trees of Liberty $70,000 $70,000
Americans for Prosperity $40,000 $40,000
Center for Individual Freedom $25,000 $25,000
Concerned Women for America $20,000 $20,000
Center for Arizona Policy $10,000 $10,000
Pass the Balanced Budget $10,000 $10,000
Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy $10,000 $10,000
Center to Protect Patient Rights $10,783,500 $44,578,500 $14,805,485 $112,154,553 $4,632,500 $186,954,538
American Future Fund $1,280,000 $11,685,000 $1,075,000 $49,182,409 $63,222,409
Americans for Responsible Leadership $902,000 $24,650,800 $2,409,000 $27,961,800
60 Plus Association $2,635,000 $8,990,000 $2,404,000 $2,630,723 $529,000 $17,188,723
Americans for Prosperity $2,225,000 $1,924,000 $129,000 $11,513,079 $225,000 $16,016,079
Americans for Limited Government $5,585,000 $1,575,000 $7,160,000
American Commitment $1,614,985 $4,781,559 $45,000 $6,441,544
Americans for Job Security $4,828,000 $17,000 $100,000 $4,945,000
Americans for Tax Reform $4,189,000 $350,000 $4,539,000
Coalition to Protect Patients' Rights $1,859,000 $205,000 $1,570,000 $710,000 $4,344,000
CitizenLink $4,195,218 $4,195,218
Free Enterprise America $3,627,500 $3,627,500
National Rifle Association of America $3,150,000 $3,150,000
Revere America $2,300,000 $2,300,000
The Institute for Liberty $1,495,000 $457,000 $1,952,000
Concerned Women for America $4,500 $1,453,000 $173,573 $1,631,073
US Health Freedom Coalition $1,430,000 $125,000 $1,555,000
Susan B. Anthony List $1,025,000 $385,000 $1,410,000
Prosper Inc $1,326,000 $1,326,000
Club for Growth $9,000 $690,000 $450,000 $1,149,000
American Energy Alliance $250,000 $864,960 $1,114,960
Citizen Awareness Project $1,000,000 $1,000,000
Veterans for a Strong America $937,000 $937,000
RightChange.com $850,000 $850,000
Hispanic Leadership Fund $47,000 $645,000 $50,000 $742,000
POFN LLC $711,000 $711,000
National Taxpayers Union $682,500 $682,500
Americans United for Life Action $559,000 $25,000 $65,000 $649,000
Ohio Two Point Zero $565,000 $565,000
Americans For Jerusalem $535,000 $535,000
Morning in America $521,500 $521,500
Coalition for American Values Action $510,000 $510,000
American Catholics for Religious Freedom $375,000 $375,000
Arioch Project $320,000 $320,000
Freedom Vote $200,000 $100,000 $300,000
Benjamin Rush League $275,000 $275,000
Independent Women's Voice $250,000 $250,000
Wisconsin Club For Growth $225,000 $225,000
Ohio Liberty Council $210,000 $210,000
Emergency Committee for Israel $200,000 $200,000
Citizen Media $156,000 $156,000
The LIBRE Initiative $152,366 $152,366
Fair AZ Independent District $150,000 $150,000
All Votes Matter $60,000 $80,000 $140,000
National Federation of Independent Business $135,783 $135,783
GOPAC Education Fund $121,826 $121,826
Protect Your Vote Inc. $100,000 $100,000
American Principles in Action $100,000 $100,000
Policy and Taxation Group $88,000 $88,000
Common Sense Issues $75,000 $75,000
King Street Patriots $70,000 $70,000
Defend Your Healthcare $65,000 $65,000
Americans United for Life $10,000 $45,000 $55,000
American Family Association $50,000 $50,000
Citizens Outreach $38,000 $38,000
Republican Jewish Coalition $20,484 $15,500 $35,984
Vets For Economic Freedom Trust $32,062 $32,062
Generation Joshua $30,000 $30,000
Tea Party Patriots $30,000 $30,000
Generation Opportunity $29,211 $29,211
Benjamin Rush Foundation $25,000 $25,000
Legacy Foundation Action Fund $25,000 $25,000
Home School Legal Defense Association $25,000 $25,000
Common Sense Issues Coalition $25,000 $25,000
Nebraska Right to Life Inc. $25,000 $25,000
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste $25,000 $25,000
American Grassroots Coalition $17,000 $17,000
Taxpayers Protection Alliance $10,000 $10,000
Common Sense Issues Inc. $10,000 $10,000
Heritage Action for America $8,000 $8,000
Arizona Public Integrity Alliance $8,000 $8,000
Independence Institute $5,000 $5,000
Ohio Voter Integrity Project $5,000 $5,000
Grand Total $10,783,500 $44,578,500 $14,805,485 $112,154,553 $4,632,500 $3,855,150 $100,000 $190,909,688

American Encore & CPPR as Recipients

Year
Recipient & Donor 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Grand Total
American Encore $20,000 $20,000
Americans for Tax Reform $20,000 $20,000
Center to Protect Patient Rights $3,839,000 $10,001,000 $153,642,000 $150,000 $167,632,000
American Action Network $200,000 $200,000
Americans for Job Security $24,550,000 $24,550,000
Americans for Prosperity $100,000 $100,000
Freedom Partners $114,678,000 $150,000 $114,828,000
TC4 Trust $3,839,000 $9,801,000 $14,314,000 $27,954,000
Grand Total $3,839,000 $10,001,000 $153,642,000 $150,000 $20,000 $167,652,000

990 Forms

Key People

According to public 990 tax returns for CPPR and American Encore:

Name 2009 2011 2016 Description
Courtney Koshar Y Y Y Secretary
Sean Noble Y Y Y President
Christopher Ashton Y Director
Erik Novack Y Director & Treasurer
Heather Higgins Y Resigned. Formerly Director & Secretary

Other People

Actions

July 13, 2016

Three groups funded by the CPPR were fined by the Federal Elections Commission for failing to disclose their sources of funding earmarked for federal political adverts. The CPPR had donated a total of more than $25 million to the Iowa-based American Future Fund, Virginia-based 60 Plus Association (founded by Noble), and Americans for Job Security in 2010. The F.E.C. found that Noble had closely directed the spending of the grants, violating federal rules requiring organizations to identity the source of any money earmarked for a political expenditure. [5], [6]

October 24, 2013

The CPPR was ordered to pay a $500,000 fine to authorities in California, along with another Arizona-based group, Americans for Responsible Leadership (ARL), through which it had secretly funnelled $11 million to fight a tax increase and support a proposal to restrict unions’ political power. According to a Washington Post report, the CPPR's Sean Noble worked with Tony Russo, a California-based Republican strategist, and the “two agreed to a money swap: Russo sent money to an Arizona group that Noble ran, in the hopes that Noble would get other organizations to send similar amounts back into California, masking the original donors.” [7], [8] Noble and the Kochs denied any wrongdoing.

2012

The CPPR funded TV ads defending Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker during his recall election, through a group called the Coalition for American Values, apparently set up solely for this purpose. [4]

Related Organizations

Disregarded Entities

990 forms for American Encore and the Center to Protect Patient Rights list a number of “disregarded entities” controlled by CPPR year over year. Below is a summary, organized by EIN, as the alias or name for each group was known to change year over year:

EIN & Disregarded Entity 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
27-3639310
Cactus Wren, LLC Y Y
Corner Table** Y
Corner Table, LLC*** Y Y
Eleventh Edition, LLC Y
80-0549969
American Commitment, LLC Y
Meridian Edition LLC* Y Y Y Y Y

*According to CPPR's 2010 990, during 2010, what is now Meridian Edition was called American Commitment LLC (7/7/10-12/28/10) and Meridian Edition LLC (12/28/10-12/31/10).

**According to CPPR's 2010 990, during 2010, Corner Table was called Eleventh Edition LLC (10/8/10-12/28/10) and Corner Table, LLC (12/28/10-12/31/10).

***According to CPPR's 2012 990, name was changed to Cactus Wren LLC in 2012.

Contact & Address

According to the SourceWatch profile for American Encore:

American Encore
PO Box 72465
Phoenix, AZ 85050
Phone: (925)-452-7771

Social Media

Resources

  1. About,” American Encore. Archived May 28, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  2. Jane Mayer. “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right”, Penguin Random House, 2016.

  3. Kim Barker, Theodoric Meyer. “The Dark Money Man: How Sean Noble Moved the Kochs’ Cash into Politics and Made Millions,” ProPublica, February 14, 2014. Archived May 28, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/YB2Ah

  4. Andy Kroll. “Shadowy Wisconsin Group That Helped Scott Walker Win His Recall Was Backed by the Koch Network,” Mother Jones, January 9, 2014. Archived May 28, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  5. Alex Kotch. “Groups tied to the Koch brothers lied to the IRS — and they’re paying for it,” Salon, August 9, 2016. Archived May 28, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/LdGHZ

  6. Ben Jervey. “Koch vs. California: These Groups Are Pushing Pruitt to Undo the State’s Right to Regulate Auto Emissions,” DeSmog, April 10, 2018.

  7. Kim Barker. “Dark Money Groups Pay $1 Million in Fines in California Case,” ProPublica, October 24, 2013. Archived May 28, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  8. Matea Gold, Tom Hamburger. “California donor disclosure case exposes how nonprofit groups can play in politics,” Washington Post, November 4, 2013. Archived May 31, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/6Ll3G

  9. Alex Kotch. “How The Arizona Corporation Commission Turned Anti-Solar In Just A Few Years,” DeSmog, July 8, 2016.

  10. Viveca Novak. “Exclusive: Center to Protect Patient Rights Gave Millions in 2011 to Outside Spenders in Election,” Center for Responsive Politics, December 17, 2012. Archived May 28, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  11. Ben Jervey. “Koch-Funded Groups—Yet Again—Speak Out Against Electric Vehicle Tax Credits,” DeSmog, September 27, 2018.

  12. Peter Stone. “Sean Noble, 'Wizard' Behind Koch Brothers' Donor Network, Now On The Outs,” Huffington Post, October 2, 2013. Archived May 28, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  13. Mike Allen, Jim Vandehei. “The Koch brothers' secret bank,” Politico, September 11, 2013. Archived May 29, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/zSIg4

  14. [email protected]’s Myron Ebell and Chris Horner Branded as Climate Criminals for Threatening Bogus Consensus.” Tweet by @American Encore, December 8, 2015. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  15. Climate alarmists have tried so hard to get you to care about climate change. They've mostly failed,” Tweet by @American Encore, March 26, 2015. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  16. So much for climate science being “settled.” Al Gore eating a healthy serving of crow today. …” Tweet by @SeanNobleAZDC, August 31, 2014. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  17. Setting the Stage: End the Crude Oil Export Ban,” American Encore, August 15, 2014. Archived June 4, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/sNa48

  18. About us,” DC London. Archived May 28, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/9m9eF

  19. Kenneth Vogel, Ben Smith. “Kochs' plan for 2012: raise $88M,” Politico, February 11, 2011. Archived May 29, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/pAzXL

  20. American Encore (formerly Center to Protect Patient Rights),” Conservative Transparency. Archived June 5, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  21. Mystery Health Care Group Funneled Millions to Conservative Nonprofits,” OpenSecrets.org, May 18, 2012. Archived July 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/IhOLO

  22. About BlastRoots - Team Bios,” blastroots. Archived July 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/5S0x7

  23. Lee Fang. “EXCLUSIVE: Infamous Astroturf Lobbying Firm Behind New Anti-Health Reform Group,” ThinkProgress, July 28, 2009. Archived July 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/a1mJ9

  24. Who We Are,” Coalition to Protect Patient Rights. Archived August 20, 2010. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/sB78j

  25. Town Hall Protests: Astroturf 2.0?“ Mother Jones, August 19, 2009. Archived July 5, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/nezN7

Other Resources